Last week I went on a short retreat on the Pacific Coast, to write icons with two iconographer friends. The logistics and planning had gone on for months, and at last the designated days arrived. I was so excited, filled with such eager anticipation.
My dog Ivan woke me up that morning, poking me gently in the eye with his wet nose, giving tentative dog kisses, making sure that I was properly awake. Such a peaceful, happy start to a great day. But within 45 minutes, he was vomiting on the floor and writhing and screaming in agony. 60 minutes later he was at the vet’s, getting xrays done, being given morphine for his pain. What happened? It remains a mystery. It was an awful weekend, but I went to the coast anyway, at the urging of my husband, knowing that there was absolutely nothing I could do at home to help. I could fret equally well both places. At least the coast provided a measure of distraction, and the guarantee of prayertime through iconography. My mind and heart were not really there, though. Mentally I was preparing myself to say goodbye to Ivan. I spent hours out on the shore, finding that “sweet spot” where I could get enough cell phone signal to text back and forth for health updates. The good news is that Ivan got better. He had 1 1/2 days of this affliction, heavily medicated, suffering. Today, 5 days later, he is feeling good, playful, eating heartily. We have no idea what happened. We were lucky this time.
The lesson for me was how quickly life and circumstances can turn around. I need to learn to be mindful of and appreciate each and every moment of life. To take nothing for granted. Above all, I need to remember and trust in God, that He will, no matter the outcome of a given event, redeem and bring good out of it in His own time.